"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


UGH - because I am affiliated with a horse rescue, and I am listed as the contact for horses in need of a home, I get calls, DAILY, seriously DAILY folks. Calls for horses that have no home, are unwanted or soon to be in one of these situations.

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, if you are one of those IDIOTS (yes, you are an idiot) out there breeding horses, dogs, cats...WHATEVER...just to breed or to make a buck, PLEASE STOP!!!

There are SO MANY animals out there w/o homes. If you want to add an animal to your family, please choose to adopt from a shelter or rescue.

If you could hear the daily voice mails I get for horses that need a place to go, you'd be sick to your stomach. And if you aren't, there is something seriously wrong with you. Today alone I received a call for 8, COUNT THEM 8, Thoroughbreds that need homes. God Damn!!! C'mon! And the kicker for this call, the lady who has them was housing them as a favor to the owner because he had a barn fire....over a year ago...and has never come back for them!

I could go on and on all day about the sad stories I listen to daily on my voicemail for horses needing homes. Even though I am affiliated with a horse rescue, I do get calls too sometimes for dogs and cats. They are all sad and heart wrenching. I could go on for days on this soap box of mine, but back to my point...STOP BREEDING! It certainly won't cure this problem of unwanted animals, but it surely can start to curb it.

All my animals are rescues...horse, dogs, cat and even barn cat ;) This picture below is of Romeo when he came into the rescue. [He now lives on my farm] He was brought to the rescue by a couple who found him tied to a tree, starving and with no food or water...in the HOT summer. Can you see his hip bones, spine and ribs in this pic; he was so skinny it was awful. My hat goes off to the jerk who decided he didn't want him anymore and tied him to a tree, leaving him to starve to death.

This picture below is of Scarlett, and her filly Silk in the background. Oh yeah, and she is already in foal (pregnant) again in this picture. You would never assume because she was a BAG OF BONES and still nursing her one month old filly, but yep, she was already pregnant again. We rescued her from a auction where the fate of her, her filly and her unborn foal was most certainly a slaugher house. SOME IDIOT decided they didn't want her after they bred her, let her foal Silk and then REBRED her (Why? SERIOUSLY WHY did you rebreed her only to ship her off in a month?) and then a month later shipped her to auction. A$$HOLES! And yes, that is the auction tag number on Scarlett's rear that they slap on with glue. Nice huh!

There are 9 gazillion pics I could show you. I just use these two as examples. Animals do not deserve this!! STOP BREEDING!! There are way too many unwanted animals already out there.

(*I am happy to report that Scarlett, Silk and the foal Scarlett was carrying who is now known as Sprite, all have wonderful loving homes today...but it doesn't always end that way)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hay Day

Sunday was 'Hay Day'. We had to go pick up another load of hay. 30 bales last us approx. 30 days -- so, in short, not too long ;) And now that winter is coming, I usually give the horses extra hay to help them stay warm. We get hay from a nice guy who just so happens to be my 5th grade teacher! (Have I mentioned this!?) When I was in his 5th grade class, horse crazy then too, he hooked me up with his neighbor who had horses. I used to go to her place to ride and groom and do whatever needed done with the horses and I loved every second of it. Back then, he only had pigs and "1 mean mare I wouldn't want to meet!" is what he'd tell me!

Today, he has no pigs or cows, just a donkey and an ornery draft mare and all kinds of hens and guineas. He farm is BEA-U-TIFUL! This pic above is of the donkey and draft in the pasture and the new addition to his sugar shack! He taps the maple trees on his property and makes his own maple syrup!

So anyways, back to the task at hand - Hay. It is my LEAST FAVORITE EVER barn chore! Probably because it is the only barn chore that, to me, is a chore! But now that I am prego, I get out of it! I just hang out with my camera, snap pics of hubby doing hard, hay labor, and visit with Farmer Bob's horses. (I still call him Mr. S, just like I did in 5th grade even though he insists I call him Farmer Bob now!)

Here is hubby counting his bales. We can fit 30 in the trusty old Dodge, but since we're trying to stock up some, hubby decided to shoot for 50.

I think we were at about 40 here. I stopped counting. It was boring. I went to call Lewis, the donkey, in from the pasture :)

Opps, sorry hon! I was counting, I swear!

49 bales it is. If he would have stacked like I told him, we could have fit 55 ;) Just saying....

I love Farmer Bob's Farm! So serene. So peaceful. So farm-y!

Here is Lewis. He roams the farm at free will! He can go wherever he wants! I think he wanted to come home with me....until I told him about my mini hinny (donkey), Daisy! He said he'd pick his battle and stay with the ornery draft!

And here is the ornery draft, Jay! Isn't she beautiful! Mr. S rescued her mom from a PMU farm, while in foal with her. Unfortunately, her mom passed shortly after giving birth :( So, now, at 5 years old, Farmer Bob IS Jay's mom. And you'd know it as soon as you meet her! She is very particualr and doesn't let many do much to her, except for him :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Pasture Tale

*Disclaimer....2 seconds after this last picture was taken, Gypsy was 'escorted' by yours truly to the other hay pile since Apollo clearly has issues with sharing! *sigh*

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree 2010

Yesterday was our annual family tradition of going out in search of our perfect Christmas Tree. Allen had to work so we missed out on going with the rest of my family, but he still got home at a decent time and we were able to head out to a farm I discovered about 25 miles or so from our place. And they offered horse drawn wagon rides out to their fields....I'm sold!

We decided to go with a blue spruce; they smell awesome in the house. And I am just not a fan of the trees with the long, soft needles. I must admit, I do feel a tad bad about cutting down a tree to sit in my house for one month, but we do make the most of it. Once the season is over, a friend of Allen's has us throw the tree in his pond. Something about helping with the fish and overall upkeep on the pond...I dunno. I just know the tree still serves a purpose after we trim it and decorate it and then no longer need it!

This is the one we decided on....

And here is Baby and I ;) Baby's First Christmas Tree Hunt ;) And for the record, I was mortified to see this picture...I didn't think I looked that large...but for my friends asking to see some baby bump pictures, I swallow my pride and post this for you ;)

On the way back, we got the tractor drawn wagon ride. Here is hubby with his freshly cut tree :)

And of course, once it was home and in the house, the helpers had to check everything out! And this year is our first Christmas having Maggie [the cat] so I am interested to see how she does with the tree...and praying she doesn't climb up it!

And just a quick Thanksgiving Recap...these two are very thankful for each other and were thankful they had each other to snuggle with while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv Thanksgiving Day :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday Etsy Finds - Black Friday

Ok, this Etsy Finds post really has nothing to do with Black Friday other than it is Friday, time for another Fabulous Etsy Finds and it just so happens to be 'Black Friday'!

There are plenty of sellers on Etsy offering Black Friday sales so before you hit the manic super-chain stores, check out special gifts for your special someones on Etsy!


I LOVE felted slippers! My godmother made me a pair one year for Christmas :) I LOVE LOVE them! And I came across these beautiful ones from Zaves Felt. Aren't they gorgeous! I love the spiral design on them! Check this shop out if you love all things felt!

Something about this print from AmandaRaeK just caught my eye. I love it. It's farmish, rustic, colonial-ish and I love the windmill in the background! And guess what, this shop is having a BLACK FRIDAY through Cyber Monday sale! Everything in her shop is HALF OFF! What an awesome deal! Use coupon code 'Thanksgiving2010' at checkout!

Is this pixie designed cowl by elinadesigns adorable or what! I love pixie type hats :) And this specific one is OOAK (one of a kind!) Scoop it up now before someone else does. This shop is also offering FREE SHIPPING through the end of November!

Here is another piece of art that caught my eye! I love hounds! Any kind of hound! (Especially my hound!) This is another piece, to me, that has a farmish, colonial-ish feel to it and the hounds take the cake! Again, if you are looking for art to decorate your home or office, check out artdejoie - lots of beautiful prints and paintings here!

And to close out this weeks Fabulous Friday Etsy finds, this Limited Edition Horse Print from Linda Christine Norton. There are only 25 total of this print out there; make one of them yours! And be sure to check out this shop for beautiful prints and paintings.
Happy Black Friday :) Share with us what you scored!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanskgiving 2010!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Look What The, errr Cat? Dragged In......

You have to understand, my husband is a Dr. Doolittle....seriously. Animals follow him EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE! This morning was no exception. This little man followed hubby into the barn

Someone HAD to have dumped him....unless he ran off. He wants to come in the house. He loved having my husband hold him. In the words of my niece, he was 'purrrrling'. And they all come here. And we cannot keep him :( We have one female cat in the house and one female outside and neither of them like other cats on 'their turf' :/

Who can give this sweet boy a home? He is probably about 6 months...and you know what they say...No One has ever met an orange cat they didn't like ;)

Hmmm, and now that I think of it, is this going to be a yearly November tradition that a kitty comes in from the orchard and follows my husband 'home'?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Labor - A Male's Point of View

My husband just gave me a glimpse into his thoughts on how he envisions labor and delivery of our first born to go. Oy, if he is right, we might as well sign over movie rights for the horror genre now!

I don't know that I care to bore you with every detail, but it seems he envisions me turning into a spawn of Satan that will be ripping his arm off and whose hair will look like I just stuck my finger in an electric socket.

All the while, he envisions lots of 'water'. Uh, I don't know what Health class he took, but I think he might be seeing more than water!!

And he also seems to think the nurses may be busy tending to him, rather than me, after he passes out!

Oh joy! I can see it now, we'll be on the way to the hospital and I will be giving HIM the pep talk to breath and relax.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fabulous Friday Etsy Finds

Welcome Back to my 'Etsy Finds' Showcase! I haven't done a post on some of my favorite Etsy finds since, ehhh, February or March!? And with all the holiday shopping I have been doing, a good part on Etsy I might add, I figured let's get this back up and running!

So, in no particular order, and with no particualr theme other than a taste of 'holiday' and 'tis the season, lets dig right in!


I love this super festive door hanger from Raging Wool. Complete with Sleigh Bells!! The cool thing about this shop is everything is made from repurposed materials! Check it out!

I love Lazy T's work and this hat is no exception!

I have featured work from Diana over at Lancaster Art on my blog before; I love it. It is beautiful! And now, she offers note cards with her artwork on them! *squealllll* How exciting! What a perfect holiday gift for an Equine Lover on your list ;)

I LOVE these booties from Bison Girl Shop! This mistletoe print is too cute! If my lil' midglet was already here, I'd definitely have to get him or her a pair to wear on Christmas!

Doesn't this beautiful print just set the tone for the season upon us? Well, for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere ;) You can find it at Dahlia House Art Studio. She has great pieces there!

Cheers! Have a Wonderful Weekend!

PS - Shameless Plus! I now have some holiday greeting cards available in my Etsy Shop! And don't forget to help me get my Facebook Photography Page up and off the ground ;)

UPDATE **UPDATE!! Hooorayyy! I used some of the merchandise I feature on my blog post today to create my very first ever Etsy Treasury and low and behold, it MADE THE FRONT PAGE of Etsy!! Yahooo - congrats to those of you in the treasury who were featured on the front page :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Step Inside My Mind

Sometimes, I drive my self crazy with the 'what if's'. I recently told my husband about something always in the back of my mind and of course, he thinks I am nuts and says "Just Drive", but let me share with you too.

Being involved in animal rescue, I unfortunately know the horrors and ultimate fates so many animals out there face. And it is heart breaking. Heart Wrenching. Yes, I know, adults and children face horrors too. And there are plenty of people out there advocating for them. The animals have a smaller voice in that realm, and I guess I was 'blessed' to be one of the people to help them strengthen their voice. My husband too. He feels the same, sometimes even softer than I, but the difference is, he doesn't think about the 'what if's'...or if he does, he doesn't share them with me! *And before I get going here, let me just state that I am not saying everyone has bad or ill intentions towards animals. I am just freely speaking on how my mind rambels through the 'what if's' and since I have seen the dark side, I think this is why I put myself through this*

On my daily drive to work, I pass on occasion an amish buggy or two going down the road and a number of fields with animals, mostly horses, in them. For the past 2.5 years, I pass the same fields and always see the same horses. There is one farm that for quiet some time, had a very skinny horse in their pasture. I figured a few things. It could have been a rescue they were rehabbing or a horse, possibly a senior horse, with a health issue. I couldn't imagine that it was flat out being neglected right there since the farm sits right on a main road in public site. And the other horse in the pasture was healthy as well as the sheep they have. (But, then again, you never know) Every day I would pass and see the horse standing under a tree. It would wear a fly mask in the summer which told me that someone DOES care for this horse. Every day I would pass and tell myself one day, I will drive by and this horse will no longer be here. And I will most likely know it's fate; he was humanely euthanized due to health and hopefully was in the arms of someone who loved it while it made the journey over the Rainbow Bridge. And sure enough, one day I drove by, and every day after, and never saw the horse again. And I pray my thought was correct...and not that some heartless owner shipped it to an auction or something of the likes.

Another field I pass always had a black and white horse. Both were in good weight, turned out almost all the time and had a shelter for inclement weather. (See all these things I notice!) Then, one day, they were just gone. I don't think the family moved; I never saw a for sale sign. My heart broke. I hope they didn't have to leave because the family came upon hard times. How heart wrenching, but also a stark reality. And every day I pass and still check the field in hopes that I see them again. I don't. And I pray wherever they went, they are happy.

Another field I pass had a paint horse, a mini and one day, the mini's foal as well :) I feel like I watched that baby grow up! I would see the field every morning with the paint and very pregnant mini. Then one day, a foal too! (And no, the Paint was not the sire! That I am pretty sure of!) For 2 years I would see them every day as I drove by. They always seemed fat and happy munching on grass. Sometimes I would see someone in the field grooming them. Then, one day, I saw a baby calf in the field and no horse. The next day, 3 baby calves .... and the next few days now 5 baby calves. And now, I either see an empty field or 5 baby calves. And I wonder, what are they doing with these calves? They look like dairy cows, but I am no expert. And more importantly, where did the horses go? I asked my husband last night if he ever sees the horses anymore and he said no. That's not to say they are no longer there, but me and my mind always seem to consider the worst right away. I guess that is the negative to being involved in animal rescue. Maybe they went all together to a wonderful home where the Paint is ridden out on trail and the mini's are working with kids and trained to pull a cart for pleasure. But the rescuer in me says, maybe they were dumped at auction to make room for whatever the owner now wants to do with the cows.

Another field I pass has 2 white horses; they look like Arabians. So naturally, they remind me of Apollo. And one day, there was only one white horse out. I though, maybe the other is in the barn being groomed, or worked, or has a vet or farrier out to see it. And then more days passed where I only saw one :( And I automatically assume the worst. The other passed away and now the lone white horse is alone, without it's buddy.

I know people draw a line between humans and animals and emotions and feelings. But animals DO have feelings. They can sense things. They feel emotions. They know love....and danger...and harm....and companionship. I have witnessed this all first hand. And I know, that when an animal is loved and has companionship, it knows and cherishes every moment as if it is the last....because you just never know.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Glimpse into Fatherhood...

This picture has a story to it. It also fortells my future in some respects. In the name of the father, and the son.....lord help me now.
My niece, Valaree, who is 6, spent the night over the weekend. While we were waiting for dinner to cook, my husband and I sat at the kitchen table with her coloring pictures. I periodically got up to check on dinner. During one of these trips to the oven, my husband decided to color the white blaze on Mossy's snout with blue marker! (Don't ask; he did this as a kid with his Dalmations too.....and please note, no animal was harmed or permanently inked! In fact, I think Mossy liked his war paint!) Anyways, I proceeded to ask "Allen, why would you do that?" and cleaned off Mossy's snout. Meanwhile, my niece stared in awe and I could see the wheels in her head moving.....'Wow, it is OK to do something like that!?'
Our evening progressed and we finished dinner. Allen went out to the barn to check on the horses and I was finishing up cleaning in the kitchen. Val was decorating Rubbermaid containers I had sitting out with her markers ;) The next thing I know, she comes into the kitchen and declares something - what, I cannot tell you. I cannot for the life of me remember how she presented herself because I was in shock that she TOOK SHARPIE MARKERS (she found on my bookshelf) and drew a smiley face over her face. Complete with a big green grin from cheek to cheek, crossing under her chin...and 900 red eyeballs above her eyebrows and on her forehead!
Ok, so not a big deal, kids do things like this all the time, right? But did she HAVE to use Sharpie markers!!! I told her it wasn't going to come off because they are permanent and then she became upset because she said she didn't want kids at school to 'laugh at her'. I thought to myself, why would she think to draw on her face with a sharpie? Oh WAIT....didn't my husband just show her this kind of thing was ok by drawing on the dogs face! I think he did!!
So, when he came back in the house, I presented to him his wonderful lesson in parenting 101 and told him to figure out how to get it off her! It came off thank goodness, but not without a fight! When she stays the night on the farm, her mom is guaranteed to pick up a stinky, messy, horse-smelling child, but I am not sure she would want to see a clown face, painted on with Sharpie, on her child as well :)
I also might add that in the midst of trying to clean this off her, she was upset, my husband started to feel bad, and so his way of fixing it was telling her it was ok to draw on him! Oy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Upside-Down Cranberry Cake

Since we're now 'Tis the Season for Cranberries, I came across this recipe and decided I must try it. I found it over at the Smitten Kitchen blog. I LOVE her recipes; please do check this blog out!
This cake turned out wonderful if I do say so myself! I might just have another piece before I find the motivation to clean the house ;)
So, please, do yourself a favor and give this recipe a try.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Farrier Visit

The Farrier was out last night to give the horses their pedicures! He used to live a few houses down from us and so he'd just walk over. Recently however, he moved, and now has about an hour buggy drive to our place - but god bless him, he still comes out! That is more than I can say for farriers whose horse power is an engine term!!

Farriers are hard to come by anymore it seems; at least good farriers that is. There is an old saying "No Hoof, No Horse" -- though strong, large creatures, they are yet so fragile. And the hoof is a serious issue on the horse. If the hooves are not healthy, the horse is not healthy. My Amish farrier does a pretty good job and he still comes after he moved an hour [buggy drive time] away so I can't complain!

I keep my horses barefoot; their is no need for them to have shoes. While each of them have completely different hooves, they all have healthy enough hooves to be barefoot...and I am sure they appreciate that!

Apollo has hooves of steel! Aside from a small hoof issue we battled when I first adopted him, that resulted in my having to actually purchase boots for him to wear when he was turned out in the spring time {mud}, his hooves seem to withstand ANYTHING! Gypsy is our problem child when it comes to hooves, and I use that term lightly since they really aren't a 'problem'. She has a softer hoof though and they are rather flat too. Hers chip a lot easier and since she insists on standing her back hooves where she poo's we battle thrush a tad more with her. (Thrush is a bacterial 'infection' of sorts that is not uncommon at all, but if left untreated, can become a major problem for the horse)

Romeo is like a mini Apollo; hooves of steel on a smaller scale ;) And Daisy.....well, the farrier came out this time with a special pair of newly purchased "mini nippers" to use on her since her hooves are the size of tic-tacs compares to Apollo & Gypsy's!

I always ask questions about the horses 'Joe' brings. Last time he rode over on his stallion - boy was he BEAUTIFUL and HUGE. This time, he hitched up his 'family mare'; she is a 7 year old Standardbred. Originally to be a track horse, she wasn't fast enough and Joe bought her from her track owners at 2. She was a doll. She was huge and gorgeous with mule-like ears that Standardbreds often seem to have and her eyes pierced my soul; she was kind and gentle. And she stood there, hitched, without having to be tied as well. What an angel. She can retire on my farm if she wants ;)

And this is a picture of Apollo getting his pedicure with the dark Standardbred mare & buggy in the background. You will notice Amish always have dark bay or black colored horses pull their buggy's. (Not their work/draft horses, as those are Belgian's a lot of times, which are lighter colored horses). I don't know why it is with the dark colored buggy horses and I didn't want to ask...well, I did want to ask, but I refrained! Allen thought this picture looked funny and odd with a stark white horse against the backdrop of an Amish buggy & horse :) You probably won't ever see an Amish buggy horse ;)

Holiday Art Display

I am going to take this opportunity to make a shameless plug!

For anyone who lives in my area, I have 6 photographs (framed & some matted) on display at Marie's Cafe on the Square in Medina. They'll be up until February 1 so anyone in town and visiting up on the square for the holidays, please stop in and take a look :) The Candlelight Walk is next weekend and it is the perfect time to swing into Marie's for a cup of Hot Chocolate ;)

Anyone who doesn't live in my area, you can view my photos in my Etsy Shop or on My Photography Facebook Page -- both have linky widgets to the right >>>>>

Happy Holidays! Have you started your holiday shopping yet? Do any of you give homemade gifts for the holidays? Do share!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dull Moments in Country Life

The title of this blog post is dripping with sarcasm. Here are just a few examples why. All of the following events took place within the last 2.5 hours. Can't a gal catch a break!?

  1. As I was tending to the fire (in the fireplace) and getting ready to start dinner, I looked out the front window and across the road in the cornfield, caught a glimpse off a butt on the run with a dark, black tail swinging in the air. I know that 'butt' look anywhere....and thank goodness, it wasn't one of mine [for once]! It was the neighbors lonely horse who frequents breaking out of his pasture more often than not to come visit my kids. Only this time, he booked it across the road, took out a mailbox and flew over a ditch...and then there I saw him sprinting through the cornfield. So of course, I threw on my boots, coat and hat, ran out to the barn where hubby was shoveling poo and yelled to him to throw me a halter and lead; The horse next door was loose and I was going to catch him. So there I went, prego belly an all (too much of a familiar scene any more, I tell ya!) and went sprinting through yards and down the road, over the ditch and into the cornfield. Hubby wasn't far behind and we both stopped, dumb-founded, at the large buck in the middle of the cornfield. "No, I swear I saw the horse"....and then there he went, right through chicken wire fencing covered in brush and into a neighbors yard. *yikes* I could just hear his skin tearing on his legs as he went through that. So, the owner did come running eventually, after Allen yelled out to him that his horse was loose, and we caught 'Partner'. All is ok now...this is a normal activity 'round these parts I suppose! I just can't wait to tell my child how many times it chased after loose horses (and a donkey) before it was even able to walk!
  2. I was finally settling in down in front of the fireplace with my laptop and HOWLS were screaming in through the chimney. What.The.Heck? I open the front door and all I could hear was RAVAGE howling. I instantly became concerned and upset; it wasn't from too far and I was concerned a dog was in distress -- maybe entangled with a coyote? It was so loud (still is, actually) that my dogs were pacing and freaking out, looking out the front window. I went out to get my husband, who was in his man-garage with a friend, and asked him to come listen. I told him something was seriously wrong and we might need to go help this poor animal. His friend knew the sounds right away [thank goodness] -- Coon Hunters and their Dogs -- WHEW. So at least I knew the howling was a positive thing, not a dog in distress ;)
  3. As I settled back in and started reading through my daily list of blogs, I came to one written by a lady who does cat rescue, House of the Discarded. I clicked on the first video she had posted. It was taken in a 'cat shelter' and within not even 2 seconds of me playing this video, with all the cats crying and moaning on it, my cat came whirling out of nowhere, claws out and fangs barred, screaming at me. She jumped onto my laptop, clawed me, I jumped up, dropped the laptop, and then instantly became entangled in a mess of one hot mess of a cat and two dogs, getting the snot clawed out of them for reason unknown to them.

Ahhh yes, dull moments in the country! Isn't this what life is all about ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Butter Dish

I would just like to know, does anyone else's butter dish look like this when their husband gets done with it? And this is actually our butter dish on a good day! *sigh*